Directed by: Gerardo Naranjo
Countries & Regions: Mexico
Length: 108 mins
Released: 20 February 2012
Cat No: MTD5680
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Mexican thriller about an aspiring beauty queen who is forced into the criminal underworld. Stephanie Sigman stars as 23-year-old Laura... Read More
Laura Guerrero (Stephanie Sigman) has a dream: to 'represent the beautiful women of my state' in the Miss Bala contest. But beauty pageants can be a ruthless business, even more so when they become entangled in the drugs trade. Based on the true story of Laura Zúñiga, a model and beauty queen arrested in connection with trafficking, Gerardo Naranjo’s unrelenting drama follows Laura’s waking nightmare as she is unwittingly drawn into Mexico’s war on drugs, first as an innocent bystander, then as a reluctant participant.
Naranjo’s depiction of a world without hope is technically impressive, if entirely dispiriting. Shot using long, unflinching takes, the lines that separate ordinary family life, the artificial world of the pageant, and the brutal urban warfare which erupts without warning, become blurred. Laura’s fate is synonymous with that of Baja California, a state racked with crime and corruption, where beauty, innocence and ambition are seized upon and corrupted. This powerful film doesn’t offer her any obvious way out, but Laura’s sheer resilience, and the film’s remorseless kinetic energy, make it hard to look away.